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In a fight against a phase spider on the Material Plane, would the banishment spell be a viable option to temporarily keep a phase spider out of the fight?

According to the banishment spell, the targeted creature would be banished to a harmless demiplane and incapacitated, if it is native to the Material Plane, but banished to its home plane, if it’s native to a different plane.

Removing the phase spider from combat for up to one minute would be the desired situation. But I do not know the native plane of phase spiders. Banishing it to the Ethereal Plane would yield an unsatisfying result, as it would be able to Ethereal Jaunt right back into the fight.

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Banishment would remove the phase spider from your fight for (at least) 1 minute

The 5th edition description makes no mention as to which plane is "home", but previous editions heavily imply that it's native to the ethereal plane. So it's a DM call (though, I'd argue RAW is the material plane if I was at an AL game).

But it doesn't matter, because banishment doesn't send a creature to "an adjacent point on the target's home plane", it just sends them there, to a basically random location. Given the size of most game worlds I've played in that gives you about a gajillion "5 foot squares" to choose from.

A DM could decide that it shifts to a harmless demiplane for 1 minute, or a place in the ethereal realm; assuming you concentrate for the minute, then it's someone else's problem.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Usually I would use the old "a spell only does what it says it does" method. But the Banishment spell doesn't speficiy what happens. If the creature is transported to a harmless demiplane (or let's say the Plane of Fire), there is no real "adjacent point". But in the case of the Ethereal Plane, the Banishment spell could just "push" the creature to the other side. The spell neither says that the creature is transported to a random location, nor that it appears adjacent to it's old location. \$\endgroup\$ – hohenheim Jun 18 at 9:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ It might be helpful to point to the Forgotten Realms wiki article (or the sources it cites) in discussing what it says about their home plane. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 18 at 9:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @v2blast is the forgotten realms wiki one of our "okay" sources? I honestly assumed that no wiki was safe. \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Jun 18 at 10:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @goodguy5: I'm not sure what you mean by that. It's a community-maintained wiki; it's not the source of the information - it cites a number of books (5e MM, 4e MM2, 3.5e MM, and 1e MM) for the information in the article. The wiki simply summarizes that info conveniently. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 18 at 10:38

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